The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development was allocated a paltry 0,17% of the entire $4 billion National Budget and yet it is expected to provide more than $1 billion to Treasury in 2012.
This was revealed in a report to discuss the 2012 National Budget presented last week at the House of Assembly by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy.
Chairman of the committee Edward Chindori-Chininga said government should also allow private players in mining to participate in the exploration of minerals in the country.
“The Budget allocation to the Ministry of Mines increased by 33,7% from $5 175 000 in 2011 to $6 921 000 in 2012, but it is saddening to note that the ministry, which is expected to provide more than $1 billion to Treasury in 2012 was given one of the least allocations totalling 0,17% of the entire Budget,” read the report.
“While it is commendable that government wants to set up an exploration company, it is imperative that government should also be willing to create a conducive environment and allow private players to participate in the exploration of minerals,” they said.
The report said government did not seem to be serious on its commitment to carry out exploration work because no money had been set aside in the Budget for the establishment of an exploration company.
The report also noted that government should create a special fiscal regime that requires all mines to bank within Zimbabwe and move away from special agreements.
“This should be done in consultation with all the key stakeholders. The committee believes that it is no longer acceptable for big mining companies to continue to bank their monies outside the country when the country was experiencing shortages of financial resources critical for the recapitalisation of most of its industries,” the committee report said.
The committee also recommended government to honour its pledge to review the Mines and Minerals Act, to develop a minerals policy and enact a Diamond Act.